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HE HAD SUCH QUIET EYES

A poem by BIBSY SOENHARJO

HE HAD SUCH QUIET EYES


He had such quiet eyes She did not realise They were two pools of lies Layered with thinnest ice To her, those quiet eyes Were breathing desolate sighs Imploring her to be nice And to render him paradise

If only shed been wise And had listened to the advice Never to compromise With pleasure-seeking guys Shed be free from the hows and whys

Now heres a bit of advice Be sure that nice really means nice Then youll never be losing at dice Though you may lose your heart once or twice

Bibsy Soenharjo

1968

POETS BACKGROUND
Bibsy Soenharjo was born in Jakarta, Indonesia in 1928. Her father is Agus Salim, one of the founders of the Republic of Indonesia. She and her siblings were homeschooled by their father. Her poems, written in English and the Indonesian language, have been translated into English, Japanese and Dutch. Bibsy has been writing poetry for almost 50 years and she writes about all kinds of love in a simple, open and direct language. Her pragmatic choice of words brings out an emotional intimacy in her poems.

POETIC DEVICES
Alliteration: - two pools of lies Layered with Refrain: had such quiet eyes/those quiet eyes Onomatopoeia : sighs

Repetition:. That nice really means nice.

THE MEANINGS OF WORDS


PERSONIFICATION The mans eyes were breathing desolate sighs, which suggest that the man seemed sad and lonely. The eyes were also imploring her to be nice, which show his
METAPHOR Pools of lies the mans eyes are described as pools of lies. The word pools shows the severity of his deceit. Layered with thinnest ice the eyes are normally mirrors of ones feelings and innermost thoughts. However, the man manages to disguise his actual intentions by layering his eyes with the thinnest ice.

desperate need for companionship.

THE MEANINGS OF WORDS


IDIOM > Hows and whys confusion > Losing at dice to be at the losing end after taking a risk > Lose your heart to fall
DICTION * Pools reflects the enormity of the mans deceit

* Thinnest ice gives the


impression of being on the edge of danger * Breathing has a more

in love

dramatic effect than making

THE MEANINGS OF WORDS


DICTION * Imploring gives a better effect than asking * Render has a more dramatic effect than giving * Paradise synonymous to happiness

THE IMAGES OF WORDS


IMAGERY Pools of lies creates the image of a man who was full of deceit Layered in thinnest ice indicates that the man was pretending and lying, and at

anytime he would find out.


Breathing desolate sighs gives the picture of a person trying to seduce the other person Imploring her to be nice gives us a clear picture of the man begging the girl to accept him Paradise gives an image of bliss and happiness.

THE IMAGES OF WORDS


SYMBOL Quiet eyes represents deception Dice represents taking a risk with ones feelings Heart represents love. Paradise represents ultimate pleasure or great happiness.

G E N E R A L U N D E R S TA N D I N G
1. What did the persona not realise about the mans eyes? They were pools of lies They were pools of love They were pools of hate They were pools of happiness 2. The word quiet in the poem can be replaced with A. Sad B. Desperate C. Attractive D. Wicked-looking

A. B. C. D.

3. To the persona, what did the mans eyes show? A. Lies B. Love C. Honesty D. Loneliness

4. The eyes were A. Breathing and imploring B. Imploring and watching C. Watching and crying D. Crying and smiling

5. The persona regrets that she A. Did not marry the man B. Ran away with the man C. Did not understand herself D. Did not listen to good advice

6. What advice is the persona referring to? A. Avoid men at all costs B. Never be helpful to men C. Go the distance with kind people D. Never give-in to pleasure seeking men

THEMES
The exploration of human feelings in Deception Meaningful relationships

relationships
The betrayal of a young girls love

WEEKEND HOMEWORK
1. Why do you think the girl fell in love with the man? 2. What were the mans real intention? 3. What was the advice mentioned in stanza 2? 4. Explain the meaning of the word compromise as used in the poem? 5. Explain the last two lines in stanza 3.